Fauna and Flora
An isolated country from the outside world allowed the evolution to follow different paths, creating unique species.
Despite this archipelago being one of the smallest countries in the world is also one of the richest in biodiversity and endemism. Also possessing various species introduced by humans, intentionally or accidentally.
The need to preserve the dense tropical forest led to the creation in 2006 of the Ôbo National Park, which represents almost 30% of the island of São Tomé, and the Natural Park of Principe which is about 50% of Prince Island .
Is also joined to the equation the Natural Reserve of Tinhosas Islands and the Natural Reserve of Rolas Islet.
In 2011, Prince Island has been classified by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Besides the native species, the archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe has some species imported from different locations.
Almost all land mammals were introduced by humans in the last five hundred years. The monkey (Cercopithecus mona), was one of the species introduced by Man: for example cats, wild pigs, the “Lagaia” (to fight the rodents that destroy crops).
The archipelago, which is considered as one of the best hotspots in the world to bird watching. Is also a paradise for those interested in diversity and exclusive species. We can count more than 65 species of birds, between them 25 are endemic and of great rarity. There are also about 16 species of reptiles, including 7 endemic.
The bats species are value because of their strong endemism, targets for scientific research and protection and conservation measures.
The marine fauna is also extremely rich in biodiversity and it is part of the imagination of any tourist visiting or planning to visit Sao Tome and Principe.
The turtles inhabit the marine waters of the country and use the beaches for reproduction. Local efforts, eco-tourism and the “turtle watching” are important means for the preservation of the species.
Also exist in these waters, a wide variety of cetaceans such as several species of dolphins, whales, killer whales and sperm whales.
The wealthy waters in terms of fish, shellfish and corals attract biologists all the year, as well as diving, snorkling or fishing enthusiasts.
The islands of Sao Tome and Principe have such a high diversity of plant species that do not exist anywhere else in the world, the so-called endemic species, famous worldwide. Its natural wealth, or biodiversity, is unique and source of fascination for many researchers around the world.
In the archipelago are registered over 850 species of plants, of which 140 are endemic.
The Botanical Garden of Bom Sucesso, gateway to the Natural Park Obô, has a herbarium, which has over a thousand samples of plants, including endemic species.
The flowers always attract the visitor’s attention: the porcelain pink, red-orange rose, the spurs and the giant begonia are the most admired.